Resiliency of Tri-State highlighted at 71st Annual Meeting of its membership
- Tri-State remains resilient across its operations, finances and cooperative business model, ensuring reliable, affordable power while advancing its Responsible Energy Plan transition.
- Board Executive Committee officers elected.
(April 5, 2023 – Westminster, Colo.) With a strong focus on resiliency, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association marked its 71st year with a forward look at how the not-for-profit cooperative wholesale power supplier, and its member electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts, will together power the communities they serve for many years to come.
“Resiliency across all aspects of our cooperative ensures Tri-State always serves our mission to deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to our members,” said Tri-State Chairman Tim Rabon, who also serves as a trustee of Otero County Electric Cooperative in Cloudcroft, N.M. “Even with our focus on Tri-State’s energy transition, I remain confident that our board and management will never lose sight of our priorities of reliability and resilience. Power remains the lifeblood of the West, and we will advance on every front to deliver on our members’ expectations.”
Chief Executive Officer Duane Highley described to the more than 425 members and guests in attendance that “Tri-State’s diversity and scale, bolstered by our 42 utility members and our vast generation and transmission system, create unrivaled strength and stability. We are a hedge against volatility, including higher costs of fuel and power, rising inflation, dynamic financial markets and supply chain challenges.”
“Tri-State’s 4% wholesale rate decrease resulted in a total savings of $62.6 million for Tri-State utility members between March 2021 and the end of 2022, marking the seventh year in which Tri-State has not raised wholesale rates for its members,” said Treasurer Stuart Morgan, who also serves as director of the Wheat Belt Public Power District in Sidney, Neb. In 2022, Tri-State returned $10 million in patronage capital to its members.
Andy Berke, Rural Utilities Service Administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spoke at the annual meeting and thanked Tri-State for its leadership in advocating for cooperative clean energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. These efforts resulted in more than $10 billion in funding options and direct pay tax credits for electric cooperatives, and are the largest federal investment in rural electric cooperatives since the passage of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
Also speaking to Tri-State’s membership was Neva Espinoza, vice president of Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources at the Electric Power Research Institute and Lanny Nickell, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Southwest Power Pool. Jerry Schemmel, a local sportscasting veteran and voice of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team, discussed his perspectives on resiliency, as a broadcaster and as a survivor of an airline crash.
In addition to Tri-State’s wholesale rate decrease, Tri-State noted numerous highlights for 2022.
- Advancing six large-scale six solar power projects, as part of its Responsible Energy Plan, to be operational in 2025, when 50% of the energy Tri-State’s members consume will come from emissions-free renewable resources.
- Reaching a landmark settlement on Phase I of its 2020 Electric Resource Plan (ERP) that sets near-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in Colorado, leading to an 80% emissions reduction in the state in 2030, from 2005 levels.
- Identifying the need for a 200-megawatt wind facility in its Wyoming/Nebraska planning region in early 2026, as part of Tri-State’s Revised Preferred Plan portfolio in Phase II of its 2020 ERP.
- Expanding contract flexibility with additional members pursuing partial requirements memberships, which for some members could include the development of additional local renewable energy resources.
- Advancing efforts to participate in the expansion of the Southwest Power Pool Regional Transmission Organization in the Western Interconnection, and recognition of the recent milestone of moving 100% of Tri-State’s load into energy imbalance markets or a regional transmission organization as of April 1, 2023.
- Receiving approval for additions to its transmission system in eastern Colorado that support the interconnection of up to 700 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity by 2028.
- Initiated development of a Demand Response platform and programs in 2022, designed to control at least 4% of Colorado member peak load by 2025.
- Supporting transitioning communities, including Craig, Colo. in preparation for the retirement of Craig Station by 2030, in Rifle, Colo., following the retirement of Rifle Station in 2022, and continuing community support following the retirements of Escalante Station and Nucla Station.
- Tri-State reached several new operational milestones in 2022, including a wind energy penetration record of 42.1% on March 28, a renewable energy peak of 1,245 megawatts on July 21, and an all-time peak member load of 3,071 megawatts on July 17.
Executive Committee of the Board of Directors elected
Following the annual meeting, the executive committee of Tri-State's Board of Directors was elected, including six officers and three at-large positions, from the 42-member board representing each utility member.
Tim Rabon, who has served on Tri-State’s board since 2014, was re-elected as chairman. Don Keairns, representing San Isabel Electric Association (Pueblo West, Colo.) on the board since 2012, was re-elected vice chairman. Julie Kilty, who has represented Wyrulec Company (Torrington, Wyo.) on the Tri-State board since 2012, was re-elected secretary. Stuart Morgan, who has represented Wheat Belt Public Power District on the Tri-State board since 2007, was re-elected treasurer.
Scott Wolfe, representing San Luis Valley REC (Monte Vista, Colo.) was re-elected assistant secretary; Wolfe joined Tri-State's board of directors in 2008. Thaine Michie, who has represented Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (Fort Collins, Colo.) on Tri-State’s board since 2009, was elected assistant secretary.
The Executive Committee's three at-large positions were seated with incumbents Wayne Connell representing Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative (Mountainair, N.M.) and Shawn Turner, representing The Midwest Electric Cooperative (Grant, Neb.). Charlie Abel, representing Sangre de Cristo Electric Cooperative (Buena Vista, Colo.) was elected to the third at-large position.
Tri-State is a power supply cooperative of 45 members, operating on a not-for-profit basis, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State, visit www.tristate.coop.
Tri-State’s 2022 Annual Report is available on its website.
Lee Boughey, 303-254-3555, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Stutz, 303-254-3183, email@example.com
Certain information contained in this press statement are forward-looking statements including statements concerning Tri-State’s plans, future events, and other information that is not historical information. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described from time to time in Tri-State’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tri-State’s expectations and beliefs are expressed in good faith, and Tri-State believes there is a reasonable basis for them. However, Tri-State cannot assure you that management’s expectations and beliefs will be achieved. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein.